Alleluia of Third Sunday After Easter

Luke 24:46

Alleluia. V. It behooved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead, and so to enter into His glory. Alleluia.

Catena Aurea

45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, 46. And said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48. And you are witnesses of these things. 49. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.

BEDE; After having presented Himself to be seen with the eye, and handled with hands, and having brought to their minds the Scriptures of the law, He next opened their understanding that they should understand what was read.

THEOPHYL. Otherwise, how would their agitated and perplexed minds have learnt the mystery of Christ. But He taught them by His words; for it follows, And said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, that is, by the wood of the Cross.

BEDE; But Christ would have lost the fruit of His Passion had He not been the Truth of the resurrection, therefore it is said, And to rise form the dead. He then after having commended to them the truth of the body, commends the unity of the Church, adding, And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.

EUSEBIUS. For it was said, Ask of me, and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance. But it was necessary that those who were converted from the Gentiles should be purged from a certain stain and defilement through His virtue, being as it were corrupted by the evil of the worship of devils, and as lately converted from an abominable and unchaste life. And therefore He says that it behoves that first repentance should be preached, but next, remission of sins, to all nations. For to those who first showed. repentance for their sins, by His saving grace He granted pardon of their transgression, for whom also He endured death.

THEOPHYL. But herein that He says, Repentance and remission of sins, He also makes mention of baptism, in which by the putting off of our past sins there follows pardon of iniquity. But how must we understand baptism to be performed in the name of Christ alone, whereas in another place He commands it to be in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. First indeed we say that it is not meant that baptism is administered in Christ’s name alone, but that a person is baptized with the baptism of Christ, that is, spiritually, not Judaically, nor with the baptism, wherewith John baptized to repentance only but to the participation of the blessed Spirit; as Christ also when baptized in Jordan manifested the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. Moreover you must understand baptism in Christ’s name to be in His death. For as He after death rose again on the third day, so we also are three times dipped in the water, and fitly brought out again, receiving thereby an earnest of the immortality of the Spirit. This name of Christ also contains in itself both the Father as the Anointer and the Spirit as the Anointing, and the Son as the Anointed, that is, in His human nature. But it was fitting that the race of man should no longer be divided into Jews and Gentiles, and therefore that He might unite all in one, He commanded that their preaching should begin at Jerusalem but be finished with the Gentiles. Hence it follows, Beginning at Jerusalem.

BEDE; Not only because to them were entrusted the oracles of God, and theirs is the adoption and the glory, but also that the Gentiles entangled in various errors might by this sign of Divine mercy be chiefly invited to come to hope, seeing that to them even who crucified the Son of God pardon is granted.

CHRYS. Further, lest any should say that abandoning their acquaintances they went to show themselves, (or as it were to vaunt themselves with a kind of pomp,) to strangers therefore first among the very murderers themselves are the signs of the resurrection displayed, in that very city wherein the frantic outrage burst forth. For where the crucifiers themselves are seen to believe, there the resurrection is most of all demonstrated.

EUSEBIUS. But if those things which Christ foretold are already receiving their accomplishment, and His word is perceived by a seeing faith to be living and effectual throughout the whole world; it is time for men not to be unbelieving towards Him who uttered that word. For it is necessary that He should live a divine life, whose living works are shown to be agreeable to His words; and these indeed have been fulfilled by the ministry of the Apostles. Hence He adds, But you are witnesses of these things, &c. that is, of My death and resurrection.

THEOPHYL. Afterwards, lest they should be troubled at the thought, How shall we private individuals give our testimony to the Jews and Gentiles who have killed Thee? He subjoins, And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you, &c. which indeed He had promised by the mouth of the prophet Joel, I will pour my Spirit upon all flesh.

CHRYS. But as a general does not permit his soldiers who are about to meet a large number, to go out until they are armed, so also the Lord does not permit His disciples to go forth to the conflict before tile descent of the Spirit. And hence He adds, But tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.

THEOPHYL. That is, not with human but heavenly power. He said not, until you receive, but be endued with, showing the entire protection of the spiritual armor.

BEDE; But concerning the power, that is, the Holy Spirit, the Angel also says to Mary, And the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. And the e Lord Himself says elsewhere, For I know that virtue is gone out of me.

CHRYS. But why did not the Spirit come while Christ was present, or immediately on His departure? Because it was fitting that they should become desirous of grace, and then at length receive it. For we are then most awakened towards God, when difficulties press upon us. It was necessary in the mean time that our nature should appear in Heaven, and the covenants be completed, and that then the Spirit should come, and pure joys be experienced. Mark also what a necessity He imposed upon them of being at Jerusalem, in that He promised that the Spirit should there be given them. For lest they should again flee away after His resurrection by this expectation, as it were a chain, He kept them all there together. But He says, until you be endued from on high. He did not express the time when, in order that they may be constantly watchful. But why then marvel that He does not reveal to us our last day, when He would not even make known this day which was close at hand.

GREG. They then are to be warned, whom age or imperfection hinders from the office of preaching, and yet rashness impels, lest while they hastily arrogate to themselves so responsible an office, they should cut themselves off from the way of future amendment. For the Truth Itself which could suddenly strengthen those whom it wished, in order to give an example to those that follow, that imperfect men should not presume to preach, after having fully instructed the disciples concerning the virtue of preaching, commanded them to abide in the city, until they were endued with power from on high. For we abide in a city, when we keep ourselves close within the gates of our minds, lest by speaking we wander beyond them; that when we are perfectly endued with divine power, we may then as it were go out beyond ourselves to instruct others.

AMBROSE; But let us consider how according to John they received the Holy Spirit, while here they are ordered to stay in the city until they should be endued with power from on high. Either He breathed the Holy Spirit into the eleven as being more perfect, and promised to give it to the rest afterwards; or to the same persons He breathed in the one place He promised in the other. Nor does there seem to be any contradiction, since there are diversities of graces. Therefore one operation He breathed into them there, another He promised here. For there the grace of remitting sins was given, which seems to be more confined, and therefore is breathed into them by Christ, that you may believe the Holy Spirit to be of Christ, to be from God. For God alone forgives sins. But Luke describes the pouring, forth of the grace of speaking with tongues.

CHRYS. Or He said, Receive you the Holy Spirit, that He might make them fit to receive it, or indicated as present that which was to come.

AUG. Or the Lord after His resurrection gave the Holy Spirit twice, once on earth, because of the love of our neighbor, and again from heaven, because of the love of God.

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